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Is travelling selfish?

Travel Forums General Talk Is travelling selfish?

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81. Posted by tigger89 (Budding Member 6 posts) 10y

I don't believe that travelling is selfish. Once again, as someone has already posted on here, look at all of the knowledge and experiences that we gain. Without travel we would not really know much about each other, so I'm glad for it.

When I lived in Hawaii though and decided to travel by air, the only way to get to the other island btw, does that make me selfish?

Also by the way, according to that chart China will soon be on it's way to being the highest CO2 contributor.

82. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

When I refer to pollution it means a blanket term. Co2, sewage, industrial waste, radioactive waste etc... There all in there. The US at minimum has strict standards when it comes to vehicle emissions. And if a business is caught dumping untreated waste and such into the environment, what do you think happens when they are caught? It's called jail time. Period. I don't think Russia and China is that strict. It's a fact that China pollutes the enironment on a grand scale and the government looks the other way. Especially at the local level. What about the former Soviet Union. Chernobyl is a ticking timebomb of leaking waste that the government does nothing about. That's blatant pollution directly to the earth that the governing bodies don't address. The US pollutes the environment, don't get me wrong. But let's be honest. Like I said before, I hope the cost of crude oil reaches $300 a barrel. Then all the major car manufactors and maybe even the airlines will have to seriously change how their vehicles are powered. That's what it will take.

83. Posted by Peter (Admin 5813 posts) 10y

Quoting bryangrey

It's a fact that China pollutes the enironment on a grand scale and the government looks the other way.

If it's a fact, it would be good to see some proof of it. I'm not saying you're wrong, but it sounds more like you have a preconceived notion of China, which may not be true. The US possibly is better when it comes down to toxic pollution in its own country, easily made up for by the American companies who take their dirty habits into other countries where a bit of money buys immunity from everything. America is at the least a long way from being a role model in this debate.

Quoting tigger89

Also by the way, according to that chart China will soon be on it's way to being the highest CO2 contributor.

All things continuing as they are they would overtake the US at some point. Consider that they also have a population that is considerably larger than the US though ... China has however been investing heavily in renewable energy sources and I do wonder if maybe they will curb that growth pattern. For now, all that really matters is the current, not the possible future.

84. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

Interesting turn this has taken! First I have to say that even if crude did cost $300 per barrel - it wouldn't matter. As long as there is oil in the ground people are going to want it.

It is used for more things than just your fuel. One of the main products? Residuals. Residuals - coke, asphalt, tar, waxes; starting material for making many other products. Chemicals of various grades are extracted for making plastics and other polymers that are used everyday.

So not only would it cost you $45/litre to fill up - it would also cost you $45 dollars for that Bottle of Coke you bought in a plastic container; maybe $25,000 for your Televsion or Computer Parts.

One of two things will have to change for oil production to stop. Either oil goes, or people go.

85. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

Air pollution
A report released in 1998 by the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that of the ten most polluted cities in the world, seven can be found in China. Sulfur dioxide and soot caused by coal combustion are two major air pollutants, resulting in the formation of acid rain, which now falls on about 30% of China's total land area. Industrial boilers and furnaces consume almost half of China's coal and are the largest single point sources of urban air pollution.
-- source-- www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/chinaenv.html

I actually think it's 16 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China.

86. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

Let's make a few things clear here: first; the fact that China or Russia are doing bad doesn't justify that the US is doing bad too. Same thing is true for individuals: Bryangrey, even though vehicles in Cairo are "puking out black carbon laden waste" it doesn't justify your airline travel. Unless you flew to Cairo to do something about pollution there, of course, but somehow I don't think that was the purpose of your visit...

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that we all should stay at home just riding our bikes. But - having the opportunity to travel is not a right - it's a privilege. Especially when we are talking about intracontinental flights just for comfort and time savings. If you have to think about time savings while travelling you won't get to know the country you are visiting anyway - then your travels is mainly about having visited as many places as possible, to brag about when you get home. Remember that the majority of the world's population not even can afford travelling outside their own country, maybe not even outside their own town.

The ultimate unselfish thing to do would be to stay at home and give your money to charity instead - I don't really see that as an option, though! But 1) travelling slowly, 2) trying to really get to know one country at the time and 3) doing volunteering work whenever there is a possibility is way more unselfish than the "I need to see a whole continent in three weeks just because I can afford it" kind of travelling.

//Susanna

87. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

Traveling is a privilege. I admit the fact that I am selfish. I want to travel to every country in the world and experience in some small way every culture. I then teach my two small boys at home the value of it. And when they get older, I will take them. I help give them an imagination about what's out there. Tell them the stories.. the experiences. See their eyes light up and hear them say "I want to go to Peru or Egypt" in their little voices. I travel to become a better human being. That's selfish, so be it. The question is what do you do with that knowledge you gain. Do you volunteer or do you just sit back. That's the real issue. Sussana are you better then me? You seem to imply that you are. Your a real traveler because you backpack and spend weeks in countries, is that it? But me, I'm the bad one because I only go for a week to brag to my friends, right? Well good for you. It's a shame, there seems to be disdain towards others who don't travel exactly like the way you would like. I applaud your stance. In some ways I guess I'm jealous. I don't have the ability to travel for weeks and months at a time. I have small children to nurture and take of... We are all selfish, and the sooner we all look in the mirror and admit it the sooner we can move off this topic.

88. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I've got to agree with Bryan on this one. Who's to say who is travelling the "right" way and who is not? I'm completely confused...how can someone who's travelled so extensively preach that travelling is wrong and detrimental to the environment? If you think it's better to give to charity, then give away! And what about people who give a good chunk of what they make to charity and still travel 2 weeks a year? Have they given enough to "earn" the right to travel?

And really, who cares if travelling's a right or a privelege? All that changes is your own perception of travelling. Whoever travells, travells - the intention behind your travels changes nothing outside your own head.

89. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

I'm completely confused...how can someone who's travelled so extensively preach that travelling is wrong and detrimental to the environment? If you think it's better to give to charity, then give away! And what about people who give a good chunk of what they make to charity and still travel 2 weeks a year? Have they given enough to "earn" the right to travel?

And really, who cares if travelling's a right or a privelege? All that changes is your own perception of travelling. Whoever travells, travells - the intention behind your travels changes nothing outside your own head.

I'm not saying that travelling is wrong!!! I think you two both misunderstood me now. And I see why too, because I'm expressing myself a bit blurry... Sorry about that. What I'm trying to say is that I think the traveller should be aware of the environment and the societies he/she is visiting, and be aware of the effects his/her travels have. Especially people that travel extensively!!! I'm defenitely no better than anyone else. I'm just trying to be aware - because, tway, I do think the perception of travelling matters!!! I really do. It affects the small choices you do all the time: maybe it makes you choose local food, or maybe it makes you choose a travel agancy that uses local guides and pay them properly, or maybe you won't ask your Amazon tour guide to pick up and pet an animal that is close to extinction. Etcetera.

And I'm not saying that I think people should stay at home and give all their money to charity. I just said that it "would be the ultimate unselfish thing to do". As an answer to the original question. I just don't like the argument "They are worse than us so we might as well continue".

I don't know if I made it any clearer, but in the end of the day I think we all mean the same thing. More or less.

//Susanna

90. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

I don't know if I made it any clearer, but in the end of the day I think we all mean the same thing. More or less.

Well written snatterand. And well understood.:)

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